Jimmie Van Zant Passes Away AT 58
Jimmie Van Zant Passes Away AT 58 after battle with cancer. Van Zant entered Hospice on March 31st 2016 and shared the info via his Facebook with this message ” We would like to inform you that at this time ~ Jimmie Van Zant had entered hospice and resting comfortably along side his wife Zohra , in Florida. Despite any rumors, Zohra has always been his main supporter and the love of his life. The Van Zant camp would appreciate all your love & support, along with the respect of their privacy at this very difficult time. Thank you all very much and God Bless.”
Jimmie was very optimistic about beating the disease and even posted this video talking about touring in 2016
A message to all my fans, on this “The Official Jimmie Van Zant” page … God Bless you all & let the Freebird Fly !
Posted by Jimmie Van Zant on Thursday, February 11, 2016
Jimmie was born in Jacksonville, Florida – a city known mostly in the music circles as “the home of southern rock royalty.” Jimmie’s father: E.C. Van Zant and his brother, Lacy Van Zant is Ronnie, Donnie and Johnny’s father, linking this famous family together. Jimmie recalls his mother having an upright piano at home where she spent countless hours playing gospel tunes. Jimmie began taking piano and guitar lessons back at age 6. Later, in his teen years, he watched and listened to Ronnie Van Zant and the boys’ rehearse in his living room. He became amazed, mesmerized and drawn to their musical perfection. At this time, this musical pairing was known as “One Percent”, but would later evolve into the legendary Lynryd Skynyrd band.
Throughout his later teen years, Jimmie was sidetracked from music and took an interest in fast cars, professional bowling tournaments, and other hobbies. The tragedy of the fateful plane crash of 1977 of the Lynyrd Skynyrd band and loss of Ronnie Van Zant brought Jimmie back to his musical roots. This pushed him to make his own mark in the industry, guided by the lessons he learned from his cousin, Ronnie. He formed his own group and later was signed by a record label, and recorded his first album: “Southern Comfort”, where he dedicated the song he co-wrote: “Ronnie’s Song” as a tribute to his beloved cousin, which he is still demanded to play on tour. Jimmie never looked back and continued to tour with his dedication and drive for the music, performing over 200 shows a year, delivering each performance with a vengeance.
After paying his dues in the family tradition since the age of 19, Jimmie has evolved into a dynamic live artist. His love for the fans is evident in the no-holds-barred intensity he exudes from the stage. Van Zant has played his Southern Rock/Country Cross-Over originals and favorite titles from his family archives world-wide. No matter what the venue or who is in the crowd, there’s something for every music lover at a Jimmie Van Zant performance.
Influenced by the music of his cousins Ronnie, Donnie and Johnny Van Zant and their bands Lynyrd Skynyrd and .38 Special, Jimmie Van Zant makes his mark in his legendary family with a soulful sound all his own.
Van Zant Announced his battle with cancer in 2014 and was going through treatment early this year
When Jimmie was diagnosed with liver cancer his doctors at Vanderbilt Medical Center have told him he would need a life-saving liver transplant. However, transplantation is enormously expensive. According to Transplant Living the total cost of a liver transplant including the pre-transplant expenses, procurement of the organ, hospital admission, doctor’s fees, post-transplant care, and anti-rejection medications for his lifetime is more than $575,000.
As musicians both Jimmie and his wife Zohra are self-employed. Due to his poor health Jimmie had been forced to stop performing while Zohra has become his full-time caregiver leaving them without an income. Unfortunately, he has no medical insurance and wasn’t eligible for the Affordable Care Act until January 1, 2015. Jimmie’s doctors recommended that he began the evaluation and screening for a possible donor in 2014 and he had several fundraisers to help cover the bills
We were lucky enough to catch Jimmie live and here is some video from that show